[Jakob winning the Quiksilver Snow Jam Best Style Trick back in 2010. Photo: Quiksilver Snow Jam]
Intro: Tom Copsey. Interview: Joe Cavanagh
In the spring of 2000 I was in Chamonix where I ran into lensman Dan Milner who was shepherding a gaggle of timid-looking young Scadinavians around a typically rambunctious British post-shred BBQ. I asked Dan who these quiet, panda-eyed kids were, and he explained that they were part of Quiksilver’s up-and-coming Scandi team (including a fresh-faced Markku Koski) who’d been shipped out of their icy parks to shoot powder ads with him. “And that’s Jakob. He’s fucking amazing, and just SO smooth.”
When the next season’s mags dropped there was Dan’s sequence of Jakob and, sure enough, Milner was on the money with his assessment of his riding – a big backcountry Cab 9, grabbed to infinity (a rarity at the time) and stomped with cat-like grace into the Savoie pow. It must have been one of Jakob’s first ever powder kickers… From then on, Jakob would score regular invites to the Air+Style, film parts for the likes of Robot Food and Mack Dawg, before helping to initiate the epically fun Pony Tale movie, all with his signature, narcoleptic style.
Shortly after, parenthood came knocking and Jakob inevitably scaled back his travel schedule. But seeing an opportunity to keep involved yet keeping the time necessary away from home mellow, he took on the distribution of long-time board sponsor Lib Tech in Sweden which is what still keeps him busy today.
The dude’s definitely deserving of our Respect…
So, could you tell me when you started snowboarding?
I probably started snowboarding when I was around 11 for the first time, but at the time I was more into alpine racing. When I was around 14, I decided not to ski anymore. Then I was only snowboarding
I find it quite interesting to see that a lot of the Scanner riders have that alpine background. I’ve always wondered whether it makes them more comfortable with speed and with edge control…
Most of the Scanner riders, they ride a lot in quite bad conditions where the snow is super hard and icy and I think that’s effective. I think also that most of us ride small hills where you can take like maybe, two- or three hundred laps in a day. You actually get a lot of riding on a small hill.
I grew up in a ski resort and there was not much else to do; either you were a cross country skier or you were an alpine racer, when you were a kid. There were no big towns, there was no football or hockey team because there weren’t enough kids the same age for that.
“The freestylers that came to Stryn were like the main reason I thought snowboarding was way more fun and cool.”
Fair enough. So when you started snowboarding, were you one of the first snowboarders where you grew up, or was there a crew at your mountain?
No. There were some early snowboarders on our hill, but they were racing on snowboards, so like, gate racing. They got us trying snowboards, but then my Mum and Dad worked in Stryn, Norway, for the summer on the glacier. and when we got there there was only snowboarders and thats pretty much where I really started only snowboarding, all day. The freestylers that came to Stryn were like the main reason I thought snowboarding was way more fun and cool.
So did you go over to Stryn quite a lot then?
Yeah, our whole summer vacation from school was all spent in Stryn whilst my Mum and Dad worked there.
[Below: A two-day shoot with Jakob back in 2010, via the mighty Mister Kuske.]